Ben Miller will oversee external relations at Wisconsin Energy Institute

Benjamin Miller has been chosen as associate director for external relations for the Wisconsin Energy Institute. Miller is a former CALS associate dean for external affairs, and until taking over at WEI, was chief of staff to the UW-Madison vice chancellor for university relations. He began his new position on Thursday, March 15.

“Ben brings to this position a proven record of working closely with a wide range of stakeholders and organizations that collaborate with our faculty, staff and students,” says professor Mike Corradini, WEI director. “He is a skilled communicator who is respected for his ability to build coalitions and we are fortunate to have him join WEI to help identify new opportunities for innovative partnerships.”

“We are thrilled that Ben has decided to accept this new position and help build off of the tremendous investment that the state of Wisconsin, the U.S. Department of Energy and other private or public sector groups have made in energy research here on our campus,” says professor Tim Donohue, director of the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC).

“Ben was a critical member of the team that helped secure stakeholder support and ultimately receive funding to create the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center,” Donohue adds.

Miller, a former aide to U.S. Senator Herb Kohl, joined UW-Madison in 2004 as associate dean for external relations for the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

There, he oversaw the college’s communication program and served as a senior adviser to four deans.  In 2010, Miller was selected to serve as chief of staff to the vice chancellor for university relations, a new office designed to align and coordinate campus communications and marketing efforts.

There, he facilitated the development of a first of its kind “Wisconsin Idea Scholarship Program,” which brings together more than 30 business, civic and non-profit leaders from across Wisconsin to engage with one another and learn how to confront some of the challenges facing Wisconsin’s future.  Miller will continue to serve as the lead campus staff member for that initiative.

“UW-Madison is an international leader in a broad range of energy research, bringing some $100 million annually to our state in research and development funding,” says Miller.

He adds: “Our campus experts are developing novel, renewable energy solutions that will bring to bear a more sustainable energy future – one that brings about new jobs and a stronger economy for our state and indeed the entire nation.  I am honored by this tremendous opportunity to help elevate our profile and highlight the impact that UW-Madison and the entire UW-System is having in this critically important area.”

In his new role, Miller will help advance WEI’s mission to focus the many energy-related education, research and service activities on campus. He will help establish connections and collaborations on and off campus so that these centers of excellence can work together effectively in research, education and service.